New N.J. history museum is coming to Bergen County

A new capital campaign to raise funds for the construction of a new history museum at Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge has been announced by the Bergen County Historical Society. The critical fundraising efforts kickoff began President’s Day, to coincide with Washington’s birthday. The goal is to build a world-class permanent museum that will herald and display a collective history of New Jersey.

The site plans have been completed and approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. The design plans for the museum were unveiled in October 2023 and call for a 3,850-square-foot barn-styled building, which will fit with the other historic buildings on the 13-acre site along the Hackensack River.

BCHS is working with G3 Architecture, and the site plan includes a solar panel roof. The future museum will provide temperature-controlled exhibit and storage space, a theater and orientation gathering space. Some of the exhibit space will include hands-on, interactive exhibits and be digitalized to enhance learning. The BCHS hopes to raise $3 million through this capital campaign.

“The new museum will be a place to explore, document and showcase over 4,000 original objects that span several centuries,” commented Museum Chair and Bergen County Historical Society Past President Deborah Powell. “It will serve to educate the public on the important role our area played as a Native American and Colonial settlement and also as a fort, encampment ground and military headquarters during in the American Revolutionary War.”

The museum will also be utilized as a meeting space for the community and can host events in its event spaces, which can accommodate up to 100 people.

“The new museum will also help to grow attendance to more than the current 100,000 visitors we receive each year,” Powell added.

In addition to large donors and institutions, the campaign also hopes to attract new members, too.

The Bergen County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It does not receive public funding or grants, and 100% of donations are tax-deductible contributions and will go to fulfilling the mission that is 10 years in the making of building a new museum.